– By Tim Lezard PCS members working at Ofqual are today walking out in protest at the sacking of their rep Sofia Azam. The union believes Sofia – the lead negotiator at Ofqual – has been sacked for her trade union activities. Bosses say she breached a …

Walton Pantland Europe, UK, PCS,

Sofia Azam
– By Tim Lezard

PCS members working at Ofqual are today walking out in protest at the sacking of their rep Sofia Azam.

The union believes Sofia – the lead negotiator at Ofqual – has been sacked for her trade union activities.

Bosses say she breached a confidentiality agreement in passing to her members information about the regrading of their jobs. The union argues she received the information in her role as a rep, and therefore should not be disciplined as an individual employee.

PCS regional secretary Andrew Lloyd told UnionNews: “Sophia’s colleagues are absolutely outraged and incensed at her behaviour. They support her 100%. More than 50 of them have given character references in her appeal against her dismissal.

“We believe she has been sacked for her trade union activity because she has raised issues about the culture within Ofqual and because they are concerned she would have opposed plans for a pay freeze.”

Members will walk out of the offices in Herald Avenue, Coventry at 12.30pm and proceed to a short rally across the road at the Village Hotel CV4 9GZ.

Sophia’s case has been backed by three Coventry MPs – Bob Ainsworth, Geoffrey Robinson and Jim Cunningham – who yesterday met with Ofqual bosses to express their concern.

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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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